Rescuers find Antonov An-26 wreckage, confirm no survivor

There were no survivors on the crashed Antonov An-26 turboprop, which disappeared from radars in Kamchatka, Russia, on July 6, 2021.

The Antonov An-26 passenger plane, carrying 22 passengers and 6 crew members on board, was performing a regional flight PTK-251. The turboprop took off from Elizovo Airport (PKC) and was supposed to land at Palana Airport (UHPL) at the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia, but did not reach the final destination.

The Air Traffic Control (ATC) lost contact with the twin-engined turboprop RA-26085 while it was on a final approach about 9 kilometers to Palana, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry spokesperson told local media the following day. 

The aircraft belonged to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise. The company’s deputy director, Sergei Grob, said the aircraft “practically crashed into a sea cliff” judging by the wreckage. The cliff was not supposed to be in the An-26 landing trajectory, Grob said, adding that the crash might have happened due to foggy weather conditions in the region on the day of the accident. 

To find the missing An-26 plane, the Emergencies Ministry sent off two helicopters and several rescue teams. The rescuers found both engines of the turboprop on top of the cliff while the fuselage was down in the sea water a dozen meters below the coastal edge. Unfortunately, none of the 28 people onboard survived the impact.

The crashed An-26 was produced in Soviet-era and entered passenger service on October 20, 1982. It used to operate around 9 flights per week with an average flight duration of 2 hours, data indicates. On the day of the accident, the An-26 was counting 38.8 years in active operation. 

This is the second Antonov plane crash on the same route within the decade. In 2012, an Antonov-28, which also belonged to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, crashed into a mountain while flying the same Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – Palana route, killing 10 out of 14 people onboard. The crash investigation concluded the accident was caused by drunk flight crew.


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